When should I start using tretinoin for anti-aging?

02H81363 (800x800)You wouldn’t believe the number of patients who tell us they spent years sun-tanning with only baby oil as a sunscreen! Or the times they used aluminum sheets to reflect sun back up onto their chins, so they’d brown as evenly as a rotisserie chicken.

You don’t have to be a Clear Skin Concierge dermatologist to know that prevention works a hundred times better than the fix. We still don’t have a way to fix the damage cigarettes do to lungs. Rogaine (minoxidil) is great at keeping the hair you have, but not so great at growing back hair that’s gone. And sunscreen and tretinoin (generic name for Retin-A) are a lot better at keeping your skin youthful than reversing aging once it’s happened!

What I hear from my patients is that they spend gobs of money in their twenties on anti-aging creams from Sephora and Clinique. Secret: it seems like it’s working because everyone looks young in their twenties! It’s only ten years later in their mid-thirties that women, and an ever increasing number of men, come in to our San Francisco office to ask – what works for anti-aging?

Look at what dermatologists do.

From the age of about 25, when they start dermatology training, they’re obsessive about broad spectrum sunscreens with at least a 40 SPF, which they use every single day. They also start using tretinoin early, in their twenties, and never stop. Dermatologists know any cream that claims to make your skin look better in a few weeks only exists in infomercial land. Getting and using tretinoin slows down aging over years. It’s like exercise and eating right – the best effects show up many years later.

Start now, and you’ll never look back. Do it the way dermatologists do it for themselves.